Question: I am not happy with my wife since she is not at all taking care of me. We have been separated for a year now, and she has not shown that it bothers her. Her parents have asked me to forget the past and start a new beginning. But I am not at all happy with her being my wife as she is now, and I fear going forward with the marriage. She has not yet admitted to her mistakes and keeps blaming me, and says that I should not be angry with her about anything.
Thank you for your question. I pray that Allah allows you both to reconcile, heal, transform yourselves, squash your egos, and move forward.
This honestly is a very difficult decision that I cannot make for you. You have been separated a year, but I am not sure how much of your or her mindset has grown since then. Please take the Prayer of Seeking Guidance (Istikhara) as your most valued tool right now and pray it 3-7 times. Ask Allah to guide you to what is best for your religion and dunya, and intend to follow it. See the links here:
Apply Effort and Stay In the Marriage
If your istikhara comes out positive, I want you to know that your marriage is going to take lots of effort. You will not get along automatically, and if you do nothing, your marriage will go back exactly to how it was. Your positive istikhara would be telling you to go back and change and work at it, not go back and be exactly the same.
Please start with both of you taking this free course and reading these books:
Talk to your wife and tell her that you both have to come up with a plan to make things work, and please consider seeing a marriage counselor. Explain to her that you want to live your life according to a basic Islamic standard and both parties should be fulfilling their responsibilities in that. Also, explain to her that both parties will require patience and emotional effort to improve this marriage. There will be a lot of sacrifices and uncomfortable things required. But things always get better with du’a, time, effort, and sincerity.
Or Walk away
You are considering walking away because you do not want the same kind of marriage to continue. Your wife’s parents are wrong to say “forget the past“ because the past repeats itself when behavior is not rectified. There must be some apology by both parties and intention to change.
Follow your istikhara, if it is negative, then you know that you should sit down with both families and explain your reasons for walking away. Talk to her as well and tell her that you feel Allah is telling you to end this. Then follow the etiquettes of divorce and consider a future with someone else. See this link:
May Allah help you through this difficult time and give you a loving family that always supports, helps, and loves each other.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.